Swiss Watching trivia, No 18: Hotels

August 18, 2010, 3 Comments

Almost eight million foreign tourists visit Switzerland every year, with Germany, the UK and the USA the three biggest sources. That figure is nearly matched by the number of Swiss tourists holidaying in their own country; in other words, an awful lot of people needing somewhere to stay. Just as well Switzerland has a lot of spare beds: 241,635 to be exact. They are spread between 4866 hotels nationwide, though are naturally concentrated in the most visited areas. Just four cantons account for half of all the hotels beds in Switzerland. Canton Bern has more hotels (714), but Graubünden has more beds (37,881); must be all those big fancy hotels in St Moritz and Davos. Then comes Valais and, surprisingly, Canton Zürich; I never knew that businessmen needed so many beds. At the other end is Canton Schaffhausen with a mere 1172 beds on offer. All those figures don’t include the 57 youth hostels and 274 campgrounds dotted all over the country, far outnumbering the 80 five-star hotels. So much for luxury Switzerland.

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3 Comments on "Swiss Watching trivia, No 18: Hotels"

  1. Evamaria Wednesday August 18th, 2010 at 08:23 AM · Reply

    All those figures don’t include the 57 youth hostels and 274 campgrounds dotted all over the country, far outnumbering the 80 five-star hotels. So much for luxury Switzerland.

    Well, that’s because the majority of the Swiss vacationing in their own country can’t afford the fancy hotels… In my experience for families, 2-3 star hotels, camp grounds or holiday flats are the norm.

    • swisswatching Wednesday August 18th, 2010 at 08:27 AM · Reply

      The question is who can afford them? Certainly most British tourists can’t. It makes me laugh whenever there are stories on the news (quite often in recent months) about how bookings are down in Swiss hotels and then the president of Hotellerie Suisse comes on and says they can’t reduce prices.

  2. Katharina Thursday August 19th, 2010 at 10:04 PM · Reply

    It is not necessarily a matter of price. Switzerland as a destination was always a little more expensive than other destinations. Visitors knew that , but they knew what they paid extra for: outstanding service quality and a highly efficient and convenient service environment.

    I know that from my home town where I grew up, a city in central switzerland which derived most of it’s income from tourism.

    what happened: massive deterioration of service quality and an increase in inconvenience. and still increasing prices.

    as a small example: if the white wine is served too warm, you have the option to refuse the bottle and ask for a properly cooled one. Now try that in a swiss restaurant without any hassle.It won’t happen.

    or ask for a simple thing like extra ice or simply icecubes in a glass besides your other order. you will be snitched at.

    speaking of: where are ice cube machines on each hotel floor? and vending machines.

    or trying to buy a snack after midnight. the lifestyle police will haunt you for such an incorrect thought.

    it is other inconveniencing things such as having to pay for internet access and being forced to sign up with some swiss service for that, which charges ridiculous amounts like 15 CHF per day. When you try to sign up, the service does not even accept credit cards. no, it goes to your cell phone bill. which in turn does not work, if your cell phone service is in the US.
    don’t forget, you already pay 300 per night for that room. a room, that would cost you 70 USD here and internet access included.

    And then they wonder why American tourists became extinct in Switzerland. we simply do not accept this poor level of service at those prices.

    Meanwhile in Austria, they realized there is a market potential for the alpine setting combined with quality.

    Guess what happened: all these tourists that allegedly don’t have the money to spend spend it in …Austria. Billions of it.

    it is so bad, that swiss companies book their christmas company party across the border in austria and germany, because often swiss resorts are unwilling or unable for some flexibility.

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